Big Hole Lodge, MT
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge in Wise River, Montana.
100% Customer Satisfaction
has been our commitment since 1856. It’s who we are. If you aren’t happy with a product or service, we want to know about it. And we’ll make it right. That’s the Orvis Way.
Craig & Wade Fellin
Big Hole Lodge
406-832-3252 email@example.com www.flyfishinglodge.com
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Big Hole Lodge is completely surrounded by National Forest property and there are numerous hiking trails available directly from the lodge which are well marked and maintained by forest service personnel.
The Wise River flows through the lodge property and is the main tributary of the Big Hole River. The "Wise" is full of wild rainbow, brook trout and the odd brown trout. One of the most productive pools on the river is our "Home Pool" which is where we have our western BBQ every Thursday evening, only a stone's throw from the main lodge.
There is also a 100 yd. par three golf hole at the lodge for our guests to enjoy on the day of arrival or before the BBQ on Thursday evening.
We have a tour guide, Jane Baker, available to drive our guests to the different venues and activities in our area. Jane is the wife of Allen Baker who has guided for the lodge for over twenty years. Jane was the former dean of a local college and has a great personality and is very knowledgeable about the history of the area and what it has to offer. Some of the activities are a summer playhouse theater, art galleries, Big Hole Battlefield Museum, one of the best preserved ghost towns in Montana, shopping, a commercial hot springs with water slide and a local mining museum. Jane is also available to do day hikes with our guests. Also, there is a signature Jack Nicklaus public golf course nearby which is a links style course and very reasonable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do you have WiFi?
A. We do. The Pattengail Cabin is the only building on the property that doesn't have consistently good WiFi because of the greater distance it is from the office Linksys router. The lodge does not have cell service though unfortunately.
Q. Do you accept credit cards?
A. We do accept credit cards including American Express.
Q. How do gratuities work?
A. The guides prefer to be tipped directly but if you are not prepared to do so, you can include this in one check at the end of your stay along with the lodge staff gratuities if everyone performed to your expectations.
What Should Customers Bring?
The following will help you enjoy your trip. Some of these items are available in the lodge fly shop.
Fly rod- 9' 5 or 6 wt. rod will cover most of the fishing situations.
Reel - should have a good drag system.
Waders - breathable Orvis style waders are best.
Fly fishing vest - keep extra leaders and other accessories.
Sunglasses - polarized sunglasses are recommended.
Dry fly floatant - paste or liquid.
Surgical forceps - for releasing trout unharmed.
Wading staff - for comfort, stability and safety while wading.
Rain jacket - recommended for each guide trip to be prepared.
Suntan lotion - the Montana sun is intense; use SPF 50. Lip balm is essential.
Fishing hat - a baseball cap is fine but a cowboy hat will protect your face and ears from the harsh sun.
Flashlight - for walking to and from the dining room in the evening during the months of August and September.
Angler's nippers - essential for trimming the tippet attached to your fly.
Insect repellent - mosquitoes are not typically a problem if you "grease up" and are generally gone by mid-July.
Leaders - Orvis 9' 4x or 5x leaders are perfect.
Clothing - casual wear around the lodge and at dinner; layers for the guide trip including a fleece jacket, a long sleeve fishing shirt and a raincoat.
Neoprene wading socks - fit over wading socks and worn inside wading boots; take the place of conventional waders when daytime temperatures get hot.
Sample of Typical Itinerary
The day of arrival which is usually Saturday is a non-guided fishing day. Our guests who elect to fly into Butte on the 12:30 PM arrival are met at the airport by a lodge employee and transferred to the lodge. Most clients prefer to stop for lunch in Butte, pick up hard liquor if need be and buy a fishing license if they haven't done so at the Stonefly Fly Shop before they leave town. The drive is approximately one hour to the lodge with views of the Big Hole River enroute. After being shown to their cabins and relaxing over a cold beer or a glass of wine with a plate of crackers, hard sausage and cheese, most guests gear up and wade the Wise River for small wild rainbows and brook trout which flows through the lodge property. Novice or lower intermediate guests are invited to attend a casting lesson given by owner Craig Fellin on the lawn in front of the lodge. An orientation is given at 7:00 PM by Craig's son Wade Fellin during cocktails covering the weekly program and fishing reports and answering any questions guests may have related to their stay. A buffet dinner is served immediately after orientation and a good time is had by all.
Next morning after breakfast your guide will meet you in the fly shop in the barn which is located in the parking lot as you drive in the front gate. There is a good assortment of Orvis fly-fishing gear from leaders to Helios rods available including rental waders and rods and reels.
Our most popular fishing package has been the 6 night/5 day fly fishing package but we also offer a 5 night/4 day package and a 4 night/3 day package which are listed on our website (http://bigholelodge.com/) and the accompanying rates.
Species You Fish for by Season
The Big Hole River holds a wide variety of trout including the brown, rainbow, cutthroat and brook along with the arctic grayling. This is one of the last refuges for the grayling in the lower 48 states. All species of trout and grayling are wild fish and absolutely no stocking has been done in any river or stream in Montana since the 60's.
The Big Hole is a fertile river with good hatches of aquatic insects throughout the season. The well known hatches begin with the salmon fly and golden stone fly hatch in June and accompanied by the pale morning duns, green drakes, yellow sally's and caddis that extend into July. Grasshopper or hopper patterns along with ant and beetle patterns work well starting in mid-July and extend into September until the first big freeze. August brings on the tiny trico hatch which makes for some of the best dry fly fishing of the season. As fall approaches, the baetis hatch or blue winged olives emerge especially on a cloudy day.
Big Hole Lodge guides do their very best to find you fish that will come up on a dry fly and they work hard to accomplish this. Of course there are days when the fish don't cooperate and are reluctant to look up. Generally the guide will tie a nymph off the bend of the dry fly hook as a first option and this usually works but if this fails, as a last resort, he'll tie a weighted nymph and indicator on your line.
Lodging, Meals, and Accommodations
Big Hole Lodge has a maximum capacity of 12 guests. There are three cabins accommodating four guests each, one of which is a duplex cabin with two beds and a bathroom/shower on each side of the cabin.
The Pattengail Cabin is a log structure overlooking the Wise River and has two bedrooms with two twin beds in each bedroom and two separate bathrooms with shower. There is a living room area with log furniture and a kitchen with a refrigerator for drinks/ice and a table to play cards. There is also a covered front porch to sit out in the evening and enjoy the sounds of the river.
The Big Hole Cabin is the largest cabin and has four separate bedrooms and two bathrooms with shower. Two of the bedrooms have one queen bed each and the other two have twin beds. There is a spacious living room with a beautiful view and satellite TV. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator for cold drinks/ice and a table to play cards and an enclosed front porch.
The Beaverhead Cabin is a duplex cabin accommodating two guests on either side for a total of four guests. Each side of the duplex has one queen bed and one twin bed with bathroom/shower and a small refrigerator for cold drinks/ice. This cabin has a shared enclosed front porch and an outside deck with a beautiful view.
The main lodge is a log building accented with river rock where guests come to relax over a glass of wine or beer and enjoy fine dining. There is one large hand made table of white pine and oak that seats twelve guests and the lodge owner and manager with comfortable hickory and leather chairs. There is an elevated outside deck attached to the dining room where guests can enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the Pioneer Mountains while waiting for dinner to be served.
Our talented chef has prepared gourmet meals for fifteen consecutive seasons at Big Hole Lodge. During your stay, you might have pine-nut crusted halibut with wild rice, white peach salsa in a port wine butter sauce and finish with a ginger crème brulee for dessert. Lunch could be marinated tip roast on a fresh baked roll with Mexican corn, ending with a sweet and tart lemon bar. Fine California wines from the lodge wine cellar are included in the fishing package, along with premium beer. All food is fresh, crisp and vivid to the senses and a culinary delight.
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